Indian soil germinates thousands of medicinal drugs that are cultivated with a purpose to obtain a novel drug. As it is a well-established fact that the structural analogs with greater pharmacological activity and fewer side-effects may be generated by the molecular modification of the functional groups of such lead compounds. This review throws light on two natural triterpenes - Taraxerol and Taraxasterol which have many important pharmacological actions including anti-cancer activity, their chemistry, biosynthesis aspects and possible use of these compounds as drugs in treatment of cancer. A silent crisis persists in cancer treatment in developing countries and it is intensifying every year. Although at least 50-60% of cancer victims can benefit from radiotherapy that destroys cancerous tumors, but search for the paramount therapy which will prove to be inexpensive with minimal side effects still persists. Various treatment modalities have been prescribed, along with conventional and non-conventional medicine but due to their adverse effects and dissatisfaction among users, these treatments are not satisfactory enough to give relief to patients. Hence, this review sparks the occurrence of Taraxerol (VI) and Taraxasterol (VII) in nature, so that the natural godowns may be harvested to obtain these potent compounds for novel drug development as well as discusses limitations of these lead compounds progressing clinical trials.
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